Friday, 7 October 2011

Sandra's District No.1 Kitchen - "It's the squeaky wheel that gets oiled"

Sandra's kitchen is much improved now that the refurb is finished. She is grateful - but it's not perfect by a long way.

What can we expect from "social housing" and public provision for those in need? It's certainly a theme that occurs all the time at the hustings and on the doorstep.

This is a nice kitchen that many would be only too happy to have but it does not suit Sandra's disabled needs entirely and the new fan is very noisy and so far from the cooker. Why should this be? Whether the window is to be replaced is not clear and Sandra says that somebody tried to break in from the street through this one.

Some people would manage without a dishwasher and so will Sandra if necessary but her life would be so much easier if one was fitted. However she has only £67 spending money per week to buy food and pay her bills. What is it reasonable to expect in the circumstances?

She would like to move to a more accessible flat on the ground floor somewhere. We watched her climb the steps from the road to the front door - they are extremely dangerous for any user but especially so with her lack of mobility. Is it right to complain or should Sandra just put up with this until she or somebody falls and sustains a serious injury?

She has been promised a mobility scooter but how to use this here and where to store it? A full OT audit is needed of Sandra's needs. Will this be done? Shall the bathroom be upgraded?

Sandra's daughter complains that her bedroom is damp through condensation. We looked for defects but the ceiling light keeps fusing and we were in the dark - but the flank wall with the hallway is solid block and very cool. This could well be improved through insulation at minimal cost by the housing maintenance team. How should this flat be heated in the winter and at what cost?

There is no man here in this family. Sandra feels very frustrated at not being able herself to patch up paintwork and fix things. Her daughter provides care for her and attends college but there are severe income shortages.

We are in touch with the Ministers for Social Security, Housing and Education. There are also Health Dept implications but who should really coordinate all the services that are needed here?

How many others are in a similar position in Jersey? It does not require much to make Sandra's lilfe so much better. How can that be achieved?

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